✈️ The sweetest airline sweet spot

✈️ The sweetest airline sweet spot

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 21 seconds

Check out this link to read more about the person who quite literally let Chat GPT plan their vacation… it’s pretty awesome.

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop! I’m recovering from a most excellent metal concert last night. It was absolutely filthy (in a good way). 🤘🏼

And no, it wasn’t one of those bands that paint their faces like weird cat creatures… those bands are trash.

This should be funny if you like metal and/or cats.

But we’re not talking about metal today; we’re talking about the one thing I love almost as much as metal - travel hacking:

  • ✈️ Lounge Lowdown: The Turkish sweet spot

  • 📆 Throwback Thursday: Travel audits

  • 🖼️ Meme

✈️ Lounge Lowdown: The Turkish sweet spot

In today’s edition of Lounge Lowdown, we’re going to take a look at a question regarding a “sweet spot” I mentioned in our transfer partners masterclass.

As a reminder, you can find that masterclass and much, much more by joining our online community called the Daily Drop Lounge.

Our lounge doesn’t have fancy food and bevvys like the Delta SkyClubs, but hey - at least you can get into our lounge without waiting in line for three hours only to end up not getting in because your flight is leaving (definitely not still bitter about this, clearly).

Anyway, here is the question:

This reader is referring to what I call the “Turkish sweet spot.”

When you think about a Turkish sweet spot, you probably think of a nice hammam in Istanbul or the (equally entertaining and frustrating) guys serving you Turkish ice cream on the street.

But this is neither of those things…

You may not know that Turkish Airlines’ loyalty program, Turkish Miles & Smiles, allows you to book domestic flights in the U.S. for just 7,500 miles one-way or 15,000 miles round-trip.

This chart shows award prices for round-trip tickets

Now, to be clear - this does not mean you fly on Turkish Airlines. You use Turkish miles to book, but you’ll actually fly with their partner airlines. 

In the U.S., the airline you’ll be flying on is United.

So why is this so “sweet,” you ask?

Well, because there’s no distance cap… so, you could book a flight on United (since Turkish and United are Star Alliance partners) from Newark to Dallas for just 7,500 Turkish miles.

But it gets WAY better…

As I mentioned, there’s no distance cap. So you could ALSO book something like Boston to Honolulu… also for just 7,500 miles.

For reference, if you booked this flight on United, for example, you’d be shelling out at least 25,000 miles… on a good day. 👇

Now before you run to Turkish’s website, there is a caveat - and this is where our question comes into play.

You cannot book these awards online with Turkish, but only by calling them.

So how do you know if a flight is even going to be available to book if you can’t find them on the Turkish website?

In the image above, you see that under the 25,000-point price are the words “Saver Award.”

These are the low-priced, discount award prices with United. If you do a search on United’s website and see a Saver Award, there is a good chance that the same award will be bookable with Turkish for just 7,500 miles.

While this isn’t a guaranteed way to determine if Turkish has availability on the route, it will save you time narrowing down your options before calling in and waiting on hold with them.

As I mentioned, United is the only U.S. airline that is a Star Alliance partner, so you can’t use your Turkish miles to book flights on airlines like American or Delta, sadly.

If you want to rack up Turkish miles, there are a few good ways to do so:

That last one is important to keep in mind. Turkish serves more destinations than any other airline on Earth (or beyond), so they’re a great option for connecting to obscure places around the globe.

If you find yourself on a Turkish flight that you booked with cash, make sure you attach your frequent flyer number (Turkish or another program like United or Aeroplan) to make sure you earn miles for your flight.

So, hopefully this clarifies what this sweet spot is and how to take advantage of it. Happy flying, friends!

📆 Throwback Thursday: Travel audits

Guess what? It’s Thursday. 

So I wanted to do a throwback to a segment from way back when the Daily Drop was first launched (the “good ol’ days,” as we call it).

As I told you in the original post, I do this activity every single week. This past week, it saved me hundreds of dollars on my upcoming travel. So without further ado…

I call this my “travel audit,” and here’s how it works:

  1. I spend 15-20 minutes looking at all of my upcoming travel bookings.

  2. I search for all of the exact same bookings (same hotels, flights, dates, etc.).

  3. If the prices are better than when I booked, I cancel and rebook it.

The nature of travel is that prices fluctuate constantly, and there is never a good way to predict when this will happen or in which direction it will go.

The only way to know is to periodically check.

Hotels and airlines also have promotions and sales that could result in a much lower price than what you paid.

Over the course of a year, I will save tens of thousands of points and hundreds of dollars by doing this regularly. I've seen prices drop so dramatically overnight that I've saved well over a hundred dollars on a single booking just for spending a minute doing this.

Now, this all relies on having a flexible booking to begin with. The nice thing about booking with points is that generally (but not always), points bookings are changeable or refundable.

Regarding cash bookings, flexibility usually comes at an extra price.

I've found that the cost of adding flexibility pays for itself because of this routine that allows me to take advantage of the flexibility.

If this sounds tedious and annoying to you, make it more enjoyable! I go for my morning walk in the park with a cup of coffee, toss on a podcast, sit down by the duck pond, and audit my travels.

Because of this, it never feels tedious or annoying, but fun. What’s better than coffee, ducks, nature, and saving a butt ton of money?

🖼️ Meme

I love traveling far away, but that jet lag still kills me every time…

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That’s all for today, folks! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE doing those travel audits… It’s always so satisfying to catch price drops and know that you would’ve otherwise spent more.

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Thanks for tuning in, and have a lovely rest of your day 🤘🏼

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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